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Treatment for Personality Disorders

A personality disorder is a type of mental disorder in which you have a rigid and unhealthy pattern of thinking, functioning and behaving. A person with a personality disorder has trouble perceiving and relating to situations and people. This causes significant problems and limitations in relationships, social activities, work and school.

At Solrei Behavioral Health in Orlando, Florida, our providers have extensive experience evaluating and managing symptoms of personality disorder. If you believe that you or a loved one is struggling with personality disorder, call the office today or request an appointment online to find relief. Telemedicine visits are also available.

What is personality disorder?

Personality is the way of thinking, feeling and behaving that makes a person different from other people. An individual’s personality is influenced by experiences, environment (surroundings, life situations) and inherited characteristics. A person’s personality typically stays the same over time.

To be classified as a personality disorder, one's way of thinking, feeling and behaving deviates from the expectations of the culture, causes distress or problems functioning, and lasts over time. The pattern of experience and behavior usually begins by late adolescence or early adulthood and causes distress or problems in functioning. Without treatment, personality disorders can be long-lasting.

Borderline personality disorder is a serious mental disorder marked by a pattern of instability in moods, behavior, self-image, and functioning. These experiences often result in impulsive actions and unstable relationships. A person with borderline personality disorder may experience intense episodes of anger, depression, and anxiety that may last from only a few hours to days. 


According to National Institute of Mental Health, based on diagnostic interview data from the National Comorbidity Study Replication (NCS-R), Figure 1 shows the past year prevalence of U.S. adults aged 18 and older with personality disorders.1

  • The prevalence of any personality disorder was 9.1% and borderline personality disorder was 1.4%.

  • Sex and race were not found to be associated with the prevalence of personality disorders.

Symptoms may include:

  • Feelings of sadness, emptiness or hopelessness

  • Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration

  • Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities

  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much

  • Tiredness and lack of energy

  • Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain

What are some causes of a personality disorder?

Personality is the combination of thoughts, emotions and behaviors that makes you unique. It's the way you view, understand and relate to the outside world, as well as how you see yourself. Personality forms during childhood, shaped through an interaction of:

  • Your genes. Certain personality traits may be passed on to you by your parents through inherited genes. These traits are sometimes called your temperament.

  • Your environment. This involves the surroundings you grew up in, events that occurred, and relationships with family members and others.

Personality disorders are thought to be caused by a combination of these genetic and environmental influences.
Your genes may make you vulnerable to developing a personality disorder, and a life situation may trigger the actual development.​

Although the precise cause of personality disorders is not known, certain factors seem to increase the risk of developing or triggering personality disorders, including:

  • Family history of personality disorders or other mental illness

  • Abusive, unstable or chaotic family life during childhood

  • Being diagnosed with childhood conduct disorder

  • Variations in brain chemistry and structure

How do you treat personality disorders?

Certain types of psychotherapy have shown to be effective for treating personality disorders. Ideally, during psychotherapy, an individual can gain insight and knowledge about their disorder, what is contributing to symptoms, and get to talk about thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Psychotherapy can help a person understand the effects of their behavior may be having on others and learn to manage or cope with symptoms and to reduce behaviors causing problems with functioning and relationships. The type of treatment will depend on the specific personality disorder, how severe it is, and the individual’s circumstances. 


There are no medications specifically used to treat personality disorders. However, in some cases, medication, such as antidepressants, anti-anxiety medication or mood-stabilizing medication, may be helpful in treating some symptoms. More severe or long-lasting symptoms may require a team approach involving a primary care doctor, a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a social worker and family members.

In addition to actively participating in a treatment plan, some self-care and coping strategies can be helpful for people with personality disorders.

Schedule Your Free Initial Consultation

*This a non-treatment consultation. You can discuss your needs with a provider to help determine if we are the right fit for each other.

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“Validating your partner’s positive feelings is just as vital as being with their negative ones.”
-  Cheli Lange

Our Services

We all have unique needs and and at times need help. Solrei Behavioral Health focuses on creating individualized treatment plans in order to improve mental health. Our compassionate care guarantees comprehensive support. Learn more about some of our most common services.

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If you are having thoughts of suicide, please call 988 to reach the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. For emergencies, call 911, or go to your nearest emergency room.
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